On July 26, 1916 — Tigers favorite Harry Heilmann gets an appreciative hand from the crowd for having dived into the Detroit River last night to save a woman from drowning.

Late in the evening on July 25, 1916, Heilmann was driving when he witnessed an automobile back off a dock at Water Works Park and fall into the Detroit River. Heilmann jumped from his car and into the river, saving the lives of

Lydia Johnson of Rome, NY, three of the five passengers. Sadly, Mrs Leroy Steadman and her daughter drowned. Newspapers made note of the incident, reporting on the identity of the famous hero.

We can’t be sure if Harry was thinking of his brother Walter, who had died sailing. Walter was on the ocean with friends when the sailboat they were in capsized. Everyone was saved except Walter, who drowned as he tried to swim to shore.  He bravly went into the Detroit River to save those strangers, but it’s likely that the tragic loss of his sibling was on his mind. The next afternoon at Navin Field, Heilmann received a standing ovation as he took his position in the outfield. 

Heilmann will drive in 2 vs Walter Johnson in a walk off win vs the Washington Senators. 


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